[A Strawberry]
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Playing - Funny How Time Slips Away
 
I am a fifty three year old disabled returning student. I am also a displaced housewife, mother and grandmother.  I was married at an early age and quit school to raise a family.  At the age of 40 I found myself divorced for the third time with no means of support.  I have no family in California and I am totally dependent on my own resources. With my limited education, I found only low paying assembly jobs available. After working at one company for five years I had the opportunity to relocate to a printing company who was willing to train me. I worked with that company for two and a half years at which time I was injured on the job and no longer able to do this type of work.

For several years thereafter I depleted disability payments, unemployment payments and finally joined the roles of the Welfare department.  I was at the point of being homeless when I found through the aid and guidance of the State Department of Rehabilitation that I could go back to school and be retrained. I wanted very much to be self supporting and dependent on no one. I was still getting general relief but found it would not sustain my needs while in school. I applied for a Pell Grant and was approved. The added income caused me to be dropped from the welfare and forced me to apply for student loans to survive.  Now my total income is derived from school grants, scholarships and student loans.

I am a 3.5+ student and work very hard to keep my GPA at a high level. To me a high grade means that I have learned all that was being taught in each class and that I am prepared for the classes to follow. I have done volunteer work for the Disabled Student Center at Rancho Santiago and enjoy working with other students.  While at Rancho Santiago I earned an AA in Liberal Arts.  I am now a junior at Chapman University in Orange, California. I am a Business Administration major and my interests are in Computer Science.

School has helped me in many ways.  The most important way is that I realize I can accomplish any task within my goals. My goal at the present time is to complete a BS in Business Administration and Computer Science. Upon graduation I intend to have my own business in the computer industry and be able to help others, especially older women who find themselves in similar situations in their struggle for self-actualization.

 

UPDATE

In September of 1998, I tore a ligament in my knee while walking from one class to another. Because of this I took a medical leave. During that time, the major depression which I had been suffering with for many years continued to deepen with no improvement, and was finally diagnosed as Bipolar.  After a few trials and errors ,  I am now on a medication which seems to be helping a lot.  I am still unable to completely cope with the mood swings but I am learning every day to live with them. I recognize them as they are coming on and can prepare for them. I am able to let people around me be aware of my moods and tell them how to cope with me.  I hope someday soon to be able to return to school and receive my degree. In the meantime I will continue to work on my studies in computer science at home and create web pages. With my pages I hope to bring attention to many causes that need public attention.
  

[A Strawberry]

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Created: 10/17/97 Updated: 02/04/02